Saturday, April 23, 2016

Open house reviews Tyndall noise study

PARKER — When aircraft from Tyndall Air Force Base fly overhead, Parker City Councilman Ron Chaple hears the sound of freedom.

Chaple stopped in at the Parker Community Center on Wednesday during an open house hosted by Tyndall Air Force Base to review an Air Installations Compatible Use Zones (AICUZ) study released this month. The study gives an overview of noise and land use and the base’s efforts to work with the community.

Chaple said the noise did not bother him or anybody he knew, and added that the military had a strong presence in Parker and was good for the economy.

The purpose of the Department of Defense’s AICUZ program is to promote compatible land development in areas subject to noise and the potential for accidents from to aircraft operations, according to a study report. The study presented at the open house in the form of large blueprints was an update from a 2008 study.

An electronic version of the updated study is available at www.tyndall.af.mil.

Operational changes made since the 2008 study include the retirement of F-15Cs from the 325th Fighter Wing, the addition of T-38s to the 2nd Fighter Training Squadron and the addition of transient F-35 operations.

“To the greatest extent possible, flights are routed over sparsely populated areas and water as regularly as possible to reduce the exposure to noise,” according to the latest report’s sections on noise abatement and complaints. “All noise complaints are worked to ensure future operations … do not generate unacceptable noise and provide results from noise investigations back to the complainant as soon as practical.”

Col. Derek France, commander of the 325th Fighter Wing, said he seldom hears complaints about aircraft noise form people he knows. He said he hears mostly that it is the sound of freedom, he said.

If local residents had concerns about noise the open house was their chance to talk to Tyndall officials, said France, who added it also was a chance for Tyndall officials to meet with the community.

Tyndall promoted the open house through social media and news outlets, although a big crowd was not expected, said France.

About 20 people were on hand early in the three-hour open house. Many of them were Air Force representatives.

There is less potential for noise affecting the area because Tyndall was not in the middle of a large city, said Bay Defense Alliance (BDA) president Tom Neubauer, who attended the open house.

BDA, a nonprofit group that advocates for the military, has been waiting for the study results, which can give the community and Tyndall an idea about noise footprints.

 “We’re glad that Tyndall has been such a community partner,” Neubauer said.

Original article can be found here: http://www.newsherald.com

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